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Anybody heard of topsteptrader (review)
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Anybody heard of topsteptrader (review)

Elite Member
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DarkPoolTrading View Post
Clearly a lot of price and structure changes are in the works at @TopstepTrader. Their website is currently very much 'a work in progress'. (I wonder why the half baked website changes have been made public as they're clearly not complete)

As others have mentioned, it seems that the price for combines is going up and there doesn't seem to be a member discount anymore.

The price of the IDT course is going up. You get a complimentary combine along with the IDT course (not sure which one?)

The profit split for people who have done the IDT course and subsequently get funded is being dropped. It was originally 70:30, then 65:35, now just the standard 60:40 regardless.

I wonder what other price increases haven't yet made it to the website.

Hopefully the site will be completed soon and more clarity on these changes will be provided.

hmmmmmm....... more and more not quite worth it, seemingly ....

We'll see.....

Nashville, Tennessee

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I see they have removed the refunding criteria for combine it seems there is no provision to rollover combine with same deposit......quie a few changes....

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Important Clarification Information!

Hi all,

As we move forward and make changes, I wanted to clarify some things to avoid confusion. We’ve recently updated our website, restructured the Membership program and launched TopstepTrader University and our new educational program, the College of Trader Development (wahoo!)

First, If you’re having problems viewing the website, please clear your cache.

Combine Cost
The cost of the Combine has NOT changed. The 10-Day and 20-Day Minimum Combine, with the standard Combine Objective (Profit Target and Scouting Criteria) is the same as it has been. There are currently no plans to increase the cost of the Combine.

Customize your Combine Objective
We have recently added the option to customize a Combine objective (recruits decide how they want to be evaluated). If someone wishes to have a Custom Objective (in lieu of the standard objective), they may submit a proposal to the Scout Team. The deposit requirement for Combines with a custom objective is $50 more than a Combine with the standard objective.

Refundable Deposit Criteria
To clarify, there has been no changes to the refundable deposit criteria. The Combine deposit is still fully refundable under this criteria: Become a Trader | TopstepTrader Refundable Deposit

Squawk Radio and Breaking News Service
The Squawk Radio and Breaking News Service is FREE to anyone enrolled in our 2-Week Trial, the Practice Trading Subscription, and the Combine. For those not enrolled in the program, a 2-Week Squawk Radio Trial is available for free. If someone not part of our program wishes to subscribe to Squawk Radio, the cost is $65/month (just lowered from $100/month.)

Membership Program Restructured into a Practice Trading Program
In response to recruit feedback, our Membership program has been restructured into a Practice program. Many recruits weren’t able to fully utilize membership benefits (discounts on the Combine and coaching) because they were focusing more on practicing and developing trading skills. To account for this concern, we are lowering the subscription cost from $150/month to $100/month.

Practice Account for a Combine
To clarify, there is a difference between the Practice Trading Subscription and “adding” a practice account to a Combine. When adding a practice account to a Combine, the practice account is only available for the duration of the Combine. Also, Trade Reports are not generated for the practice account, unlike with the Practice Trading Subscription. The cost for adding a practice account continues to be $30 for a 10-Day Minimum Combine and $50 for a 20-Day Minimum Combine.

Intuitive Development for Traders Changes
The Intuitive Development for Traders and other educational courses we offer are through partnerships with outside educators. The $500 fee is what Ray currently charges on his site (the price of IDT on his website will be increasing to $997).

The profit split has been dropped for all educational courses, and instead we’ve added a complimentary 10-Day $50K Minimum Combine ($175 value). This allows traders to choose an education course of their choice while striving to get funded at the same time. A higher profit split is meaningless if a trader cannot get live and stay live. Bringing education and the Combine together will give traders their best shot at earning a funded account and staying profitable. Anyone who previously took IDT will still receive the increased profit split.

If anyone has any other questions or would like more clarification, please feel free to ask it here or contact us at 312.252.9490 or

If you have any questions about TopstepTrader please send me a Private Message or contact us at or 312.252.9490.
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Michael Patak did a question and answer session on Friday. He provided updates about Ninja Trader and the changes in the website and pricing.


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The following 4 users say Thank You to Silver Dragon for this post:
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Thanks for sharing Robert, but as far as I understood MP during the first few minutes there's no real breaking news on Ninja Trader so far...

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If I get new conditions right, if I pay 175 usd for 20 day 30k Combine, I effective also get 2 months membership with it, barring only reports from a practice account, correct?

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xelaar View Post
If I get new conditions right, if I pay 175 usd for 20 day 30k Combine, I effective also get 2 months membership with it, barring only reports from a practice account, correct?


I apologize, but I am unclear on what you are asking exactly. If you register for a 20 Day Combine, you can add a practice account, in addition to the Combine account for $50. Please let me know if you have any additional questions.


If you have any questions about TopstepTrader please send me a Private Message or contact us at or 312.252.9490.
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mfootlick View Post

I apologize, but I am unclear on what you are asking exactly. If you register for a 20 Day Combine, you can add a practice account, in addition to the Combine account for $50. Please let me know if you have any additional questions.


Thanks, basically what I meant was with 60 days (20 trading days minimum) Combine you get same benefits you get with being a member for 2 months except practice account, i.e. lessons, squawk radio?


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I decided to post this here instead of clutter up a thread which it did not really belong in:

SteveH View Post

My apologies. I see where I misread that page. I edited the original post with an insert after the incorrect part. There is risk on their side. Looks very minimal though vs their upside potential.

No worries Steve; I think that's the idea though, and both the trader and TST should want to maximize upside potential and minimize downside risk. Here's how I thought through the process:

TST can't "give away" combines. If they did, people would take crazy kinds of risk and trade carelessly, gambling if you will, much like those free trading contests where people make crazy returns. They can do this because there is no risk at all. Thus, the results would not be representative of how a trader might trade with real money. But a $160-$400 risk is enough that most people will try their best to at least get the deposit back. In other words, there is some cost, though relatively minimal, to blowing a combine. This is very different from a sim account on a local machine. Start Monday, trade poorly, reset the sim account and start Tuesday like Monday never happened. Interestingly, it's very possible the poor trading on Monday would not have been so poor, had the trader had some consequences, and had he not been able to reset the sim account at will.

This is, I think, the benefit a firm like TST provides. Whether it's by TST or some other company, or a brick and mortar prop firm, there needs to be some accountability forced upon all traders at some point. Traders by and large simply do not have the innate discipline to do what we need to do without some accountability and consequences. With the TST combine program, if you hit your loss limit, they will let you trade the account for practice until it's done, so you get the data feed, but you get no refund, and no consideration for funding. That alone is a powerful motivator to stay within risk parameters. Same for position sizing; you simply are unable to trade more size than allowed. No more days in sim of trying to stick to 3 lots, and winding up with a 10-20 lot position and pretending that when it breaks even or makes a nice profit that it was realistic.

So, it provides a more realistic simulation/testing environment in which to evaluate. Obviously TST has a cash flow from the combine takers. And when a live trader goes max down (for the $30K it's $1500 max loss from initial balance, or 5%) they lose that money, but that is the risk they take, and no doubt the combine cash flow makes up for this loss. And when a live trader does well, everyone makes money. If the trader can reach the first threshold ($5K for the $30K account), TST's risk is gone and the max loss is the initial balance. The next threshold sees a profit split of 70%, and then 80% for the last threshold.

I think it is nice that they do not force the trader to "lock in" profits -- after the initial threshold is reached, the trader is in control of both his and TST's profit, as the drawdown limit is still the initial balance. Also, a funded trader who fails requirements and returns to the combine does not have to pay for futures combines, they get one free every 30 days. And, after the first threshold is met, the trader is considered "senior" instead of "junior" and if they have to go back to the combine and pass, they do not have to go through "junior" status if/when funded again. In other words, TST does not force the trader to start all over with everything once the trader has proven he can get the job done to a certain degree. And any time the parameters are met and the trader did not lose money in the combine, he gets his money back; hard to argue with that.

In all of this it's important to realize that many traders simply do not have the funding to trade reasonably, so they open a $10K account, are given crazy low margins, and usually blow it in part to those low margins. As I heard FT71 say on a webinar recently, there is no benefit to losing $2000 on a single trade if you have a $10K or $20K account. There is just nothing to be learned there. Rather, it's better to lose $2K over many trades and get actual experience. TST provides traders with a way to learn through experience, at minimal cost, in a more real environment than a local sim can provide, while assuming MUCH less risk than live trading. So if a trader can prove that he can trade, he is given a margin of 1 contract per $10,000 to trade with, not enough to hang himself with, but enough to get the ball rolling. So many of us came into trading wanting to turn $5K into $100K in two years, and programs like this can be the "cure" for this type of delusional misunderstanding of risk. I think that a risk of about 0.25% per trade is reasonable risk. Even with a $30K account, this only lets you have a 1-lot ES stop of 6 ticks, but many $10K traders are cool swinging 5 lots and risking 5% in a single trade. The thought of having something like a $200K account and losing 3 trades in a row at 1% risk, and blow 6 grand in a day stresses me out. In Schwager's Hedge Fund Market Wizards, the majority of the 15 interviewed fund managers had lifetime drawdowns of less than 12%, monthly max drawdowns of 4%, etc., yet you have some folks who are hitting that in a single day; craziness.

I have had the disease, I have blown the account, and I am speaking from experience when I talk about the ills traders possess, as I have had them all!


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